guava poppy seed muffins

Searching online for the combination of guava and poppy seeds in recipes, I really didn’t find much, so thought that I’d make my own. Guava poppy seed muffins, anyone? They’re vegan, too! This idea has been mulling around in my head for months, but I just kept hesitating to put down the $3 for a pound of guavas. Until now, that is. Just had to make these. YOLO, right? That’s my adventure these days–buying expensive imported produce!

It turns out there is a place in Philadelphia PA, called Federal Donuts, that has a guava poppy seed donut! That was the only place I’ve seen the pairing online. And they probably use guava paste or some other guava product instead of the fresh fruit. They are all about donuts, coffee, and…Fried Chicken!?!! Looks like they have several places in Philly, and one location in Miami. Maybe one day I’ll go there just to try them, it looks like an amazing place!

Did you know that one can find fresh guavas being sold in the Seattle area? Seems like most of the Asian grocery stores now carry them, and I don’t recall seeing them before. Of course they’re crazy expensive, but if you are a wayward API person, like me, who grew up on guavas, nothing even compares to biting into a fresh ripe guava. Nothing. And guava nectar, guava jam, guava paste, and all the other guava products pale in comparison to eating a fresh one, seeds and all.

If you don’t have access to fresh guavas, use canned or frozen guava pulp, which is sold in Asian and Mexican grocery stores. Also, I happen to really like eating the whole guava with the seeds, but if you are not a fan, simply core out the centers of the guavas where the seedy parts are; you may need to add an extra guava for the recipe if you do.

It’s really an acquired taste, the guava. If you’d only had the nectar sold in aluminum cans, or juice from frozen concentrate, and not a fresh ripened fruit, you will find that the flavor and overall experience of eating one is very different, and that you might not like it right away. It’s such a more complex flavor than what the juice or nectar has been reduced to.

And for me, the seeds are the best part of the fruit. They are just slightly crunchy and nutty, kind of like the seeds of a grape, but with a better taste and smaller and easier to eat. I thought it would go well with the poppy seeds. And I think it does, to me anyway. It’s hard to describe that quality of both the poppy seeds and guava seeds. They both have that similar indescribable quality. I based this recipe on a recipe for Whole Wheat Orange Date Muffins, HERE.

By the way, in case you were wondering, I did not harvest my own poppy seeds, but those dried poppy flower stems were part of a dried floral arrangement that I found at a garage sale a while back, and I keep forgetting that I got them specifically to use as props for this blog–until now, of course!  Pretty snazzy, huh?

Guava Poppy Seed Muffins


wet ingredients:

1/3 cup guava paste

3 Tablespoons agave syrup (can sub. maple syrup)

4 medium sized guavas, whole, woody ends removed (can remove seeds if you don’t like them, but add 1 more guava.) This yields about 1 cup of pureed guava. Can sub. canned whole guavas, drained

1/3 cup canola oil

1/2 cup guava juice or guava nectar (can substitute pineapple juice)

1 Tablespoon lemon juice

dry ingredients:

1 and 3/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup poppy seeds (or more depending on preference)


Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 12-count muffin pan with paper liners, or grease thoroughly.

In a small sauce pan, cut up the guava paste into smaller pieces anf add the agave syrup to the pan and heat on a stove top on medium heat, occasionally smashing the paste with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, making the agave syrup mix with the paste to soften it to a more jam-like consistency. It doesn’t have to get completely melted. Remove from heat and scrape into food processor or blender.

Add the guavas, nectar, oil and lemon juice to the processor or blender with the softened guava paste/agave mixture and blend or process to a puree.

Sift the dry ingredients into a large bowl and stir with a whisk several times to make sure ingredients are well blended together.

Add the wet pureed ingredients to the dry ingredients and fold and stir with a rubber spatula until all flour mixture is wet. Do not over mix.

Divide evenly between the 12 muffin molds, filling each to about 3/4th full.

Bake for about 24 minutes, until all muffins have a slight dome, and tops don’t look soft or wet. Toothpick should come out clean when stuck in the middle of one of the center muffins and pulled out.

Remove from oven and let cool in pan on a wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature. Best served on day they are made, but lasts a few days in airtight container at room temperature. Or you can freeze each individually.

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